Antipsychotic Drug Epidemic

Deadly Chemical Restraints

A new report discloses the systemic misuse of antipsychotics and the lack of enforcement in nursing homes. “Under-Enforced and Over-Prescribed: The Antipsychotic Drug Epidemic Ravaging America’s Nursing Homes” shows how many facilities use these dangerous drugs.

This is done because the caregivers are overworked and short-staffed.  We need safe staffing. The regulators need to supervise the nursing home industry. We should prevent harm and deter future abuse.

Although, the FDA includes a black box warning against the use of antipsychotics for elderly patients with dementia, it still happens all the time. Almost 300,000 residents receive this dangerous drugs. This abuse is another example of the dangers of short-staffing, inadequate oversite, and tort reform.

“This pattern of overprescribing such dangerous drugs is unacceptable, particularly coupled with the Trump Administration’s campaign to loosen regulations designed to protect patients from harm. It is critical that the administration immediately addresses this misuse to better protect vulnerable residents and give their families peace of mind.”

Read the summary of the report HERE.

The full report is available HERE.

Key Findings

Key Findings from “Under-Enforced and Over-Prescribed: The Antipsychotic Drug Epidemic Ravaging America’s Nursing Homes”:

Approximately 20 percent of all skilled nursing facility residents in the United States get antipsychotic medication when only two percent had qualifying conditions for such drugs.

Citations for antipsychotic misuse in SNFs increased by 200 percent between 2015 and 2017. However, under Trump, citations declined by 22 percent from 2017 to 2018.

Ten percent of citations associated with classifications of “Actual Harm” or “Immediate Jeopardy” to a resident’s health or safety resulted in no fine from 2017-2018.